15 SQL (Structured query language) Interview Questions for Freshers

Dear Readers, Welcome to SQL interview questions with answers and explanation. These 15 solved SQL questions will help you prepare for technical interviews and online selection tests conducted during campus placement for freshers .

After reading these tricky SQL questions, you can easily attempt the objective type and multiple choice type questions on SQL.

What is Index?

- A pointer to data having physical representation is called as Index.
- Record can be located quickly and efficiently by creating Indices on existing tables.
- Each index in a table has some valid name and we can have more than one index in different columns of a table.
- We can speed up queries by setting up index in a column of a table.
- In a table , each row is examined by sql server to fulfil our query is known as table scan and it only happen when there is no index available to help the query.
- On large tables, the table scan has huge impact on performance.
- Clustered and Non clustered indexes are the most widely used indexes in a database.

What is Trigger?

- A Trigger is a process of firing an action when some event like Insert, Update or Delete occurs.
- A trigger can’t be called or even executed rather they are automatically become active by the DBMS whenever some modification in associated table occur.
- Triggers are event driven and can attached to particular table in a database.
- Triggers are implicitly executed and stored procedures are also executed by triggers.
- Referential integrity is maintained by the trigger and they are managed and stored by DBMS.
- Triggers can be nested also, in which Insert, Update or Delete logic can be fired from the trigger itself.

What is a NOLOCK?

- NOLOCK is used to improve concurrency on a busy system.
- On data read, no lock can be taken on SELECT statement.
- When some other process is updating the data on the same time you are reading it is known as dirty read.
- Read (Shared) locks are taken by SELECT Statements.
- Simultaneous access of multiple SELECT statements is allowed in Shared lock but modification process is not allowed.
- The result to your system is blocking.
- Update will start on completion of all the reads.

What is the STUFF function and how does it differ from the REPLACE function?

- Using STUFF function we can overwrite the specified characters of a string.
The syntax of STUFF function is:
STUFF (stringToChange, startIndex, length, new_characters )

where stringToChange is the string which will have the characters those we want to overwrite, startIndex is the starting position, length is the number of characters in the string that are to be overwrited, and new_characters are the new characters to write into the string.

- While REPLACE function is used to replace specified character at all its existing occurrences.
- The syntax of REPLACE function is REPLACE (string_to_change, string_to_Replace, new_tring).
- Every occurrence of string_to_change will be replaced by new_string.

What are Self Join and Cross Join?

- When we want to join a table to itself then SELF JOIN is used.
- We can give one or more aliases to eliminate the confusion.
- A self join can be used as any type, if both the tables are same.
- The simple example where we can use SELF JOIN is if in a company have a hierarchal reporting structure and an employee reports to another.
- A cross join give the number of rows in the first table multiplied by the number of rows in second table.
- The simple example where we can use CROSS JOIJ is if in an organization wants to combine every Employee with family table to see each Employee with each family member.

What are the advantages of using Stored Procedures?

- Procedure can reduce network traffic and latency, and can enhance application performance.
- Procedure execution plans can be reused, staying cached in the management tool's memory, reducing its overhead.
- Procedures provide the benefit of code reuse.
- The logic can be encapsulated using procedures and can help to change procedure's code without interacting to application.
- Procedures give more security to our data.

What is RANK function?

- RANK function can be used to give a rank to each row returned from a SELECT statment.
- For using this function first specify the function name, followed by the empty parentheses.
- Then mention the OVER function. For this function, you have to pass an ORDER BY clause as an argument. The clause identifies the column on which you are going to apply the RANK function.

For Example:
SELECT RANK() OVER(ORDER BY BirthDate DESC) AS [RowNumber], FirstName, BirthDate FROM EmpDetails
- In the result you will see that the eldest employee got the first rank and the youngest employee got the last rank. Here the rows with equal age will get same ranks.
- The rank depends on the row's position in the result set, but not on the sequential number of the row.

What are cursors and when they are useful?

- When we execute any SQL operations, SQL Server opens a work area in memory which is called Cursor.
- When it is required to perform the row by row operations which are not possible with the set-based operations then cursor is used.

There are two of cursors:

1. Implicate Cursor
- SQL Server automatically manages cursors for all data manipulation statements. These cursors are called implicit cursors.

2. Explicit Cursor
- When the programmer wants to perform the row by row operations for the result set containing more than one row, then he explicitly declare a cursor with a name.
- They are managed by OPEN, FETCH and CLOSE.
-%FOUND, %NOFOUND, %ROWCOUNT and %ISOPEN attributes are used in both types of cursors.

What is Similarity and Difference between Truncate and Delete in SQL?

- Similarity

- Both Truncate and Delete command will delete data from given table and they will not delete the table structure from the database.

- Difference

1. TRUNCATE is a DDL (data definition language) command whereas DELETE is a DML (data manipulation language) command.

2. We can’t execute a trigger with TRUNCATE whereas with DELETE command, a trigger can be executed.

3. We can use any condition in WHERE clause using DELETE but it is not possible with TRUNCATE.

4. If table is referenced by any foreign key constraints then TRUNCATE cannot work.

5. TRUNCATE is faster than DELETE, because when you use DELETE to delete the data, at that time it store the whole data in rollback space from where you can get the data back after deletion, whereas TRUNCATE will not store data in rollback space and will directly delete it. You can’t get the deleted data back when you use TRUNCATE.

What are COMMIT and ROLLBACK in SQL?

- COMMIT statement is used to end the current transaction and once the COMMIT statement is exceucted the transaction will be permanent and undone.
- Syntax: COMMIT;
- Example:
UPDATE EmpDetails SET EmpName = ‘Arpit’ where Dept = ‘Developer’
-ROLLBACK statement is used to end the current transaction and undone the changes which was made by that transaction.
- Syntax: ROLLBACK [TO] Savepoint_name;
- Example:
SAVEPOINT mysavepoint;
ROLLBACK TO mysavepoint;

What is a WITH(NOLOCK)?

- WITH(NOLOCK) is used to unlock the data which is locked by the transaction that is not yet committed. This command is used before SELECT statement.
- When the transaction is committed or rolled back then there is no need to use NOLOCK function because the data is already released by the committed transaction.
- Syntax: WITH(NOLOCK)
- Example:

What is difference between Co-related sub query and nested sub query?

- Correlated subquery executes single time for every row which is selected by the outer query.
- It has a reference to a value from the row selected by the outer query.
- Nested subquery executes only once for the entire nesting (outer) query. It does not contain any reference to the outer query row.

- For example,
- Correlated Subquery:
select e.EmpFirstName, e.Salary, e.DeptId from Employee e where e.Salary = (select max(Salary) from Employee ee where ee.DeptId = e.DeptId)

- Nested Subquery:
select EmpFirstName, Salary, DeptId from Employee where (DeptId, Salary) in (select DeptId, max(Salary) from Employee group by DeptId)


- INTERSECT - It will give all the distinct rows from both select queries.
- MINUS - It will give distinct rows returned by the first query but not by the second query.
- UNION - It will give all distinct rows selected by either first query or second query.
- UNION ALL - It will give all rows returned by either query with all duplicate records.

What is a join? Explain the different types of joins?

Using Join in a query, we can retrieve referenced columns or rows from multiple tables.

Following are different types of Joins:

1. JOIN: Return details from tables if there is at least one matching row in both tables.
2. LEFT JOIN: It will return all rows from the left table, even if there are no matching row in the right table.
3. RIGHT JOIN: It will return all rows from the right table, even if there is no matching row in the left table.
4. FULL JOIN: It will return rows when there is a match in either of tables.

What is DDL, DML and DCL?

SQL commands can be divided in three large subgroups.

1) DDL: The SQL commands which deals with database schemas and information of how the data will be generated in database are classified as Data Definition Language.
-For example: CREATE TABLE or ALTER TABLE belongs to DDL.

2) DML: The SQL commands which deals with data manipulation are classified as Data Manipulation Language.
For example: SELECT, INSERT, etc.

3) DCL: The SQL commands which deal with rights and permission over the database are classified as DCL.
For example: GRANT, REVOKE
Database - What is Index tuning?
Index tuning is part of database tuning for selecting and creating indexes. The index tuning goal is to reduce the query processing time......
Database - How is index tuning used to improve query performance?
The Index tuning wizard can be used to improve the performance of queries and databases. It uses the following measures to do so.....
Database - Reasons of poor performance of query
No indexes, excess recompilations of stored procedures.....
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